A Little Ford Taurus History

A Little Ford Taurus History
The Ford Taurus is an automobile manufactured by Ford in the United States. Now in its sixth generation, it was originally introduced in 1985 for the 1986 model year, and has remained in near-continuous production for more than three decades. It has had a Mercury-branded twin, the Sable (1985–2005; 2007–2009), as well as a performance variant, the Ford Taurus SHO (1989–1999 and 2009–); in addition, it served as the basis for the first-ever front-wheel drive Lincoln Continental (1987–2002). It was a front-wheel drive mid-size car until 2007, and has been a “global” full-size car (built on the Ford D3 platform) since 2007, and available in front- or all-wheel drive since 2007.

The original Taurus was a milestone for Ford and the entire American automotive industry, being the first automobile at Ford designed and manufactured using the statistical process control ideas brought to Ford by W. Edwards Deming, a prominent statistician consulted by Ford to bring a “culture of quality” to the enterprise. The Taurus had an influential design that brought many new features and innovations to the marketplace. Since its launch in 1985, Ford had built 7,519,919 Tauruses through the 2007 model year. making it the fifth-best-selling North American nameplate in Ford’s history; only the F-150, Escort,[4] Model T, and Mustang have sold more units. However, between 1992 and 1996 the Taurus was the best-selling car in the United States,eventually losing the title to the Toyota Camry in 1997. The 1986–1995 Taurus was built on the DN-5 platform, and the 1996–1999 Taurus was built on the DN101 platform. The 2000–2007 Tauruses were built on the D186 which was a modified DN 101 platform. All generations of the Taurus have been built at the Chicago Assembly. They were also produced at the Atlanta assembly plant until it was closed.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, sales of the Taurus declined as it lost market share to Japanese midsize sedans and as Ford shifted resources towards developing SUVs. It was discontinued in 2006, with production initially ending on October 27, 2006, and 2007 being the last model year. Ford had decided to replace the Taurus with the fullsize Five Hundred and midsize Fusion sedans, as well as replacing the Taurus wagon with the Freestyle crossover SUV. However, Ford revived the Taurus name during the 2007 Chicago Auto Show a few months later by renaming two new models that had been intended to be updated versions of the Five Hundred and the Freestyle, the “2008 Taurus” and “2008 Taurus X”, respectively.A new model of fullsize Taurus was then released for the 2010 model year, and the 2013 mid-generational refresh (minor model update) was unveiled at the New York Auto Show with minor exterior changes and interior technology options.

The oilparty is over

The oilparty is over

and so is our foodparty

Norman PagettFollowJun 24, 2018

But how can we define an oil age? It has been about 170 years since the first deep oilwells were sunk, and just over 250 years since the viable steam engine was developed. The two are linked, because the steam engine made deep drilling of oilwells possible and gave us access to a hundred million years worth of fossilized sunlight. Perhaps we have not strictly had an oil age, but rather the first and only age where we enjoy vast amounts of surplus energy that we have extracted from hydrocarbon fuels, of which oil is the most energy dense.

It has brought us material wealth, and the means to indulge in wholesale killing of each other and all other species. It gave excesses of food and a population that consumed that food and grew to five or six times the sustainable level of the planet. In the timespan of human existence, the ascendance of modern industrialised man has been a short flash of light and heat that has briefly lifted us out of the mire of the middle ages, but at a considerable cost to the environment.

the supernova of our industrial existence is neither divine nor permanent.

But that certainty of permanence explains the mad scramble to come up with ‘alternatives’ and ‘renewables’ in the last decade or two. Something to keep current politicians in office and the masses pacified. It is important that we accept the seductive indoctrination that prayers will be answered and technology will continue to deliver fulfilment of our fantasies.

The majority have come to believe in the economics of cornucopianism, where wishing for something will make it happen, while ignoring the reality that everything we have is derived from finite hydrocarbon fuels. If we spend enough money, alternatives will always be found to sustain our lifestyle. They won’t of course, and the conflicts fought over oil are proof that they won’t.

Money is merely a token of energy exchange. Without energy, money can have no value.

The pivot of world oil economy is Saudi Arabia, (the concept of ‘Saudi America’ is too ludicrous for discussion here), but that fantasy land of sand dunes and tall towers is being encircled by fanatics who know that when the jugular of global oil is cut, the industrial complexity of the developed west will die.

When (not if) that happens, we might be lucky to hold onto an existence akin to that of the 14th century, which is what the religious zealots want to inflict on all of us. If we’re unlucky, then we must expect something that will be much darker and as yet inadmissible to modern minds that do not have the scope to deal with its implications. That infers an unpleasant imagery of pre-history that we prefer to ignore. Understandably, most think the same way; this is why we cling to the comforting promise of ‘infinite growth’.

The alternative is just too awful to contemplate.

Instead we have been encouraged to believe that we can do without oil and not only still run around on wheels, but have a purpose for doing so. And by some means yet to be invented, keep our wings as well.

Our oil age will not end through lack of it, but by fighting over what’s left.

So choose your luck‐factor and take that thought where you will, you are on your own with it. Many reasons are given for starting wars, but ultimately there is only one: the pursuit of (energy) resources.

Human greed drove improvements in weaponry, and the means of destruction and acquisition became more deadly over thousands of years even though there was more than enough for everyone. The input of oil was the game changer of warfare; history over the last century has shown that conflict was not diminished, but amplified by the prosperity and technology created by oil. Since the 1860s when black gold gushed from the earth, the economic and political thinking of the pre‐oil era was seamlessly grafted onto the industrial potential of the 19th century, thereby enabling Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, Vanderbilt and many others to accumulate fabulous wealth. Their business acumen was undeniable, but none of it could have been brought into existence without energy-rich oil.

Warfare sustains profits

The use of fossil fuels in our military machines industrialised our methods of killing while at the same time becoming synonymous with progress and commerce. War became a business, the purpose of which was the acquisition of more energy in the pursuit of profit. Battlefield deaths on an industrial scale are always an unlisted debit on the balance sheets of conflict.

WWI started with the muscle power of horses and ended with tanks and aircraft, demonstrating the murderous scope of mechanized warfare. Recognizing the critical value of oil and its sources, leaders carved up the Middle East after the war to ensure its supply. An exercise in map making in the 1920s by the English and French civil servants Sykes and Picot set the scene for carnage that has raged throughout the Middle East ever since. Arbitrary lines in the sand were drawn, artificial oil states in the Persian Gulf region were created without regard to tribal affiliations, and a quarrelsome orphan Israel was dumped into the lap of unwilling Bedouins. It still suckles on American milk.

As the quantity of oil there became apparent, all the major nations were drawn into the race for it because those who controlled this key resource were certain to subjugate those who did not.

The critical nature of oil made WWII inevitable. To sustain their empires, the Germans and Japanese slaughtered their way across Europe and Asia in a grab for resources, primarily oil. They promised infinite prosperity and their peoples cheered them on while deaths elsewhere were being counted in millions. With most of the world’s known oil supplies in the hands of his enemies, Adolf Hitler knew he had to have the oilfields of southern Russia and the Middle East to sustain his war machine.

He failed, and his dream of a ‘Greater Germany’ collapsed not because of inferior soldiers but because there was insufficient energy input to sustain his plan for world domination.

Hitler’s perception of infinite growth in his ‘thousand year Reich’ was clear: vast quantities of oil had to be burned to sustain his fantasy.

it mirrors our present-day view of ‘permanent affluence’.

We still burn it to fulfil our fantasies.

In our desperate scramble for ever-diminishing energy resources, we are in the same mad race to perpetuate the delusion of infinite economic growth. The oil pendulum has swung the other way with roughly 85% of accessible world oilnow outside the borders of the USA and Canada in countries not always of a friendly disposition towards the ‘infidels’ of the west.

And just like the Fuhrer, political leaders of today are promising that which is beyond their means to provide. To mask this reality, they have invaded oil-producing nations in the name of ‘freedom’, claiming ‘victories’ which have left only wreckage and simmering animosity behind. So too did Hitler spread a similar line of propaganda that he was liberating other nations from the threat of communism.

The second world war that left Europe and Japan flattened in 1945 might be seen as history, but it was just the first of many oil wars, and the politics of it were a side issue. WWII serves as a grim reminder of how violent and destructive humans can be in their ruthless pursuit of energy resources. Hitler’s own ‘oil age’ lasted just twelve years, but it set the pattern for the world oil age that is now in terminal decline.

Don’t be deceived by the democratic righteousness that defeated Hitler’s fascism. 150 years earlier the American empire was created with the same kind of energy grab.

The European immigrant peoples who forced their way across America from the 1700s onwards needed resources on which to survive and to sustain the prosperity of an expanding nation just as the Germans and the Japanese did in 1940. The native inhabitants of the American continent were in the way of civilization and progress; their subjugation was a precursor to what happened later in Europe and Asia. Expansive prairies had to be cleared to convert the energy locked in grain and meat to feed the invaders and underpin negotiable currency.

This self-perpetuating process went into overdrive with the discovery of oil,and the ultimate conversion of that oil into more food resources and hardware added to the wealth of the growing nation. An expanding population needed employment, and the raw energy from oil, coal, and gas supplied it. America and the rest of the industrialised world had the means to build bigger, better, faster machines in endless succession, and created the most powerful country on earth. Everybody was going to be rich, forever.

The universal law of consumption was relentless: more demanded more.

Meat and grain grew with relatively little human intervention, but other crops needed to be worked with human muscle. So the slave trade came into being.

Slavery might be given many unpleasant names, but essentially it is the acquisition of one energy form to convert it into another for profit. Buy and feed the slave, use slave labour to do work, sell the product of that work. By the time the slave is worn out, several more will have been produced. This was simple economics by 18th century standards but the human consequences were again horrific, costing more millions of lives. It also brought on the American civil war where the slave‐muscled South was overwhelmed by the industrialised muscle that drove the armies of the North.

All the European empires forged out of so-called empty lands across the world followed a similar pattern of resource acquisition and an absolute disregard for weaker peoples. The African continent was effectively appropriated to serve the needs of European masters.

the dividing up of the African Continent by European powers

That is an unpleasantness that we choose to ignore, but it confirms the killing force that drives us to acquire and convert energy to our own use. The seemingly limitless amount of oil and its energy density appeared to be the answer to all our labour problems.

Oil became our ultimate slave. Or so we thought.

We now have maybe 20 years worth of usable oil left. There are certainly no more than 30, perhaps as little as 10. If one of the crazy sects running loose in the Middle East managed to get hold of a nuclear device, setting it off on the Gharwar oilfield of Saudi Arabia would end our industrialised infrastructure overnight. That is perhaps too bleak a prospect, but we should not discount that notion entirely.

We eat oil

Before our oil to food arrangement, the planet supported something over one billion people. We now have over seven billion, and the mothers of the next two billion are alive now and approaching the age of reproduction. Preachers, scientists and politicians will not stop the basic human function of eating and procreation, so if unchecked nine billion people will be here by 2040/50, and set to go on rising after that. Every new arrival expects to be fed, watered, clothed and housed, but by no stretch of the imagination will the global food system be able to feed that number let alone sustain them with what would be expected by way of the most basic material comfort.

No one dares to stand up and make the rather obvious point that we are not going to reach 9 billion. Something has to give, and that giving is going to be very unpleasant.

In the first decade of the 21st century, numerous wars have been fought over oil, and are being fought now.

Wars are fought over resources because on nature’s terms, gentle contentedness is not a good strategy for survival; we are collectively powerless against genetic forces that dictate our lives no matter how much we protest otherwise.

Downsized to whatever level, nature will ultimately force the choice of survival or death, and the outcome will be of no consequence other than to you and yours. Humankind has existed in its current recognisable form for a million years or so. In all that time, we have been engaged in a fight for survival. To expect humankind to change within a single generation is stretching credibility beyond breaking point.

Those who look forward to a life of bucolic bliss in a downsized oil‐less world might do well to think about that.

Whether killing and butchering an animal to eat it, or invading another nation to secure oil supplies, we must appropriate energy sources to facilitate survival. You may think there’s a choice about doing that, but there isn’t, other than in the matter of scale. Whether paying a butcher to cut and wrap your steak, or paying soldiers to grab oil supplies, securing sufficient energy to live is what we have to do to survive.

For the moment, nature keeps us supplied with oil, and we’ve pulled off the neat trick of converting it directly into food. Not knowing when our oil is finished and our food supply will run out is the little teaser for the early 21st century. Right now, most people think that food comes from supermarket shelves and freezers, which is just as well. The food trucks moving around the country are basically mobile warehouses, delivering food just in time for it to be consumed. When the realization dawns that the food trucks have stopped, the food held in stock by retailers will be stripped bare in hours. The oil age for everyone will have come to an end.

But oil carries man’s destiny in far more subtle ways than food supplies. It holds nations together. The USA is a vast territory of disparate peoples and ideas, held together by a common (if tenuous) bond of prosperity and a basic consensus that government and law generally works for the good of all. And the inhabitants of empires are always convinced that theirs is permanent and protected by gods. That definition can be applied to many large nations to a greater or lesser degree. But the bonds that hold them together, godly or otherwise, are entirely subject to availability of affordable energy. Empires (and the USA is an empire) remain whole so long as the means exists to maintain them.

Oil has become that means.

Without oil, the nation will begin its decline into disparate regions. Without interconnecting transport, the United States of America cannot remain united. The force necessary to prevent a breakup will not be there, so within a decade (probably far less) of oil supply failure, the USA will cease to exist. The cracks are already there along linguistic, economic, racial, political and geographic lines. Even now it would be possible to take a pretty good guess at where those regions will split off.

This will be denied and resisted of course, but armies and police forces have power only as long as their fuel lasts. They will be unable to prevent secession in whatever form it takes. It might just be that Washington will come to govern not much more than the original colonies.

God will not allow the demise of humankind

To further this fallacy, Christian militancy has infiltrated the United States government. Executive decisions are now given credibility by bible references. The christian right, for the first time, sees real power as within its grasp.

Clearly, the ultimate intention is to forge church and state into a single entity, where justification for all law is based on bible text.

Or to give it its full horror, a Theocratic dictatorship

A suitably deranged political leader is now in office who cares for nothing other than personal gain, and consolidating his position.

To that end, the actions of his god-smitten underlings are of no consequence. If they manage to create a theocracy by default, then as long as profits flow, it is of no consequence to the current incumbent.

With prayers to the right god, there is a certainty that the ‘American Dream’ can be restored, with the expectancy of eternal bliss and the blessing of their god. Such demagoguery sets the stage for years of regional violence over the basics of life, particularly food and water. The horror of it will be justified by warped views of right and wrong, just as they were by Germany and Japan in WW2, clinging to a denial mentality magnified beyond any imagining by the privation that an oil-less society will bring.

This scenario is not exclusive to the USA. The British Empire was built on coal. When the coal was gone the empire faded away. Then in the 80s and 90s the UK became awash with cheap oil from the North Sea, and everyone was reasonably prosperous, particularly Scotland. Now the oil surplus has gone, and the UK is in decline again as a net importer. The ‘oil prosperity’ is fading away.

The link between oil and the ability to eat is clear. The UK has to import 40%of its food, and much of the rest depends on oil to produce it, which also has to be imported. It is the end of the UK’s oil age, but few admit to it being the end of a food age as well.

As the UK detaches itself from Europe, under the delusion that the ‘great’ will be put back into Britain, the reality will hit home that without oil surplus, the UK will be reduced to a third world country at starvation level. British farms cannot feed 65 million people.

The same problem is being revealed in the current fiasco of the rest of the European union, Oil-fueled prosperity is falling dramatically in the poorer southern countries. Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal and a swathe of smaller nations have to import all their oil which only worked when oil was cheap. Now it’s expensive, and they are facing bankruptcy. 50 years of ‘unity’ is dissolving like a mirage in the face of the difficulties that smaller states are suffering. Without cheap oil, their economies cannot function, and so are disintegrating.

United Europe needs oil to stay united just as the USA does.

Russia’s oil dependent economy is crumbling, and Putin is having to make threatening postures to divert attention from his problems. His oil age is ending in a different way and yet we cannot tell if his posturing is just that, but a shortage of resources in the past has invariably brought conflict.

Move to the Far East and the nations around the South China Sea are all threatening one another, again the focus of the argument being the oil and gas fields of the region. They all know that without oil they cannot survive, and are prepared to fight for every last drop of the stuff, no matter what the cost. As a measure of what the dispute is about, the volume of oil in question is 11 billion barrels. One billion barrels is less than a month of world consumption. They are preparing to fight over the last dregs in confirmation of man’s desperation over oil shortages. Eventually, this problem will hit every nation and individual on earth as our oil‐crutch is kicked away. And with the oil age fading into history for us all, there will be no shortage of violent resistance to this inconvenient truth.

1958 Chevrolet Truck

1958 Chevrolet Truck

1958 Chevrolet Truck models were designated Task Force Trucks again in their advertising and promotions. Major changes were made to the 58 pickup trucks and product line up. Although there was not a total break from the styling of the past three years.Image may contain: car

All 1958 Chevrolet trucks had completely new front end sheet metal. The front fenders were heavily sculptured and had a new look at the top. Plus a rounded feature line extending forward at the wheel opening. A Frenched style opening housed dual head lamps for the first time. The hood was completely resculptured also bulging up along the fenders.

The grille was reshaped and had a modern new look. A massive one piece horizontal bar with Chevrolet stamped across it in block letters and not the Chevy script. Above this bar was two smaller horizontal bars. Rectangular parking lamps were located at either end of the large horizontal bar.

1958 Chevrolet Truck

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

The hood trim included an emblem mounted along the bottom of the hood and was new for 1958. It had a up side down trapezoid with wings extending from each side. A large red Chevrolet bow tie was centered within the trapezoid and had a black background. For 1958 Chevrolet trucks with V-8 engines a chrome V was added. On the fenders was a large jet plane shaped nameplate carried a two digit designation for the series code and the word Apache. The trucks in the 31, 32, 36 and 38 series assigned the Apache name was considered light-duty. Those with the series 40-60 and above were assigned the Viking and Spartan name.

1958 Chevrolet Apache Truck

The Cameo pickup truck was built in 1958 but was renamed the Cameo Carrier at a cost of about $500.00 more than the Apache. Due to cost, production stopped during the early months of 1958. However, Ford responding to the fancy Cameo produced a equally fancy Styleside pickup with no extra cost to the consumer. About mid year Chevrolet responded with a similar modern looking Fleetside pickup that cost about six dollars more than the Apache.

Image may contain: car, sky, tree and outdoor

1958 Chevrolet Fleetside flat side panels with missle shaped tubes or bulges running the entire length of the bed. Round taillights were mounted at the end of the tubes. Fleetside script was mounted near end of the bed. The tailgate had Chevrolet spelled out across in white painted letters.1958 Chevrolet Fleetside TruckImage may contain: car

Fleetsides were offered in 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton series. 1958 Chevrolet trucks were equipped with a 235 cubic inch 135 horsepower thrifmaster engine. A 283 cubic inch 160 horsepower trademaster V-8 engine was also available on the 1958 Chevrolet truck.

 

Why Only Risk Takers Find Real Fulfillment

Why Only Risk Takers Find Real Fulfillment


The defiant image of “Tank Man” is one of the most enduring photographs ever taken.

In the aftermath of the Cold War, right as communism began to fall in Central and Eastern Europe, protests and revolutions for democracy were taking place all around the world.

Perhaps the most famous during this period were those being led by students in Beijing, China. In the first half of 1989, there were times when up to a million people would gather in Tiananmen Square to object the direction being taken by their country.

Towards the middle of that year, however, things had started to heat up. The government was losing its patience. On June 4, they decided to suppress the action using military force.

To this day, nobody knows the full story of what went down the next morning, but almost everybody alive at the time has at least some memory of it being a day of significance.

On June 5, as a row of military tanks were parading the streets to keep the protests from continuing, an unknown man in a white shirt stepped out in front of them. As they stopped, he stayed put. As they tried to move past him, he moved with them.

Different accounts tell different stories, but the most common one states that he was soon pulled back into the crowd and hasn’t been seen since. All that is left is the photograph.

Today, that man risking his life for his beliefs is an iconic symbol of rebellion and courage.

The Substitution of Physical Risk

There was a time in history when finding purpose was as easy as eating and sleeping.

For tens of thousands of years, in fact, there was no purpose other than survival. We lived in a dangerous environment, and the only way to endure this harshness was to work for it.

While it’s hard to make any definitive comments on past civilizations, especially those older than thousands of years, it isn’t a stretch to assume that the average person in a hunter and gatherer tribe was less likely to face an existential crisis than the average person today.

We evolved for a world that is far different from the one we live in. That’s no secret. But in order to reduce the friction between our biology and our new environment, we have to make adjustments to that environment. We have to recreate some of the past conditions.

Fortunately, we no longer have to risk our lives to feel a sense of purpose, but the fact that risking something is what often provides purpose is not something we can just overlook.

More than ever, people feel that what they do on a daily basis has little worth, that it isn’t meaningful and that their time could be better used if it was more clear where to invest it.

Well, what most people lack is a substitution for physical risk. When “Tank Man” blocked those tanks, yes, he put his life on the line, but he did it primarily for an underlying idea.

The only sustainable way to feel grounded in the fact that you’re doing what you should be is not only to stand for something, but more importantly, to put your skin into it — to be willing to be harmed for it. That means being reputationally, intellectually, or otherwise liable.

A miscalculated risk can be damaging, but never taking any risk at all is to never really live.

Evolution Begins At the Fringe

When we think about how good ideas arise in culture, we intuitively imagine a false kind of uniformity in their dissemination. We assume that once one exists, it will make its way through.

More often than not, however, what happens is that a good idea is brought up and then it spends years and, sometimes, decades in the fringes of society because, by definition, if the idea is good enough to improve our culture, it likely also conflicts with the status quo.

The world is hostile to anything that is different from the existing reality, and it’s very good at keeping such things where only a few passionate people are willing to work on them.

That’s why advancing new and important things is risky. It entails a process where a person has to go through the pain of pushback, ridicule, and existing agents with personal agendas.

In fact, there are many notable instances in human history where someone had thought of something valuable at an earlier time, but whatever the thing was wasn’t discovered or implemented until far later, when somebody else dared to follow through on it.

Not only is risk-taking something that can add purpose to our lives, but it’s also one of the most noble things you can do if you truly have something you think is worth standing up for.

The reason that the “Tank Man” photograph touches so many people is that it represents all those moments where someone defiantly said that enough is enough. And if it weren’t for the courage of people like that, the world would be an infinitely lesser version of what it is today.

Reality isn’t just created by itself. It’s always moved through the force of a person or a group.

All You Need to Know

1989 was an important year in world history. The Cold War came to an end, democracy spread like an infection, and “Tank Man” said more with his actions than he did with words.

Regardless of whether the cause of that man bravely protesting against his government is your own, it does symbolize something incredibly important about the human condition.

There is a reason that acts of courage touch us, just like there is a reason that humans — whether individually or as a society — can’t live without having exposure to some kind of risk.

Throughout most of our existence, struggling for survival gave us purpose. There was no room for an existential crisis because we had no choice but to do what was needed. Today, the world is different, but we are not. While we don’t need the danger, we do need liability.

By putting our reputations, our words, our time, and our assets on the line, we can recreate the conditions under which we were made to thrive. We can use risk as a form of purpose.

In the process, we can also create further meaning in the world. By standing up for what is new and important, we can influence the cultural direction to match our dominant values.

We all quietly assume that our evolution as a society is rooted in some natural phenomena, but the reality is that how far we move is directly proportional to how far we’re willing to push.

The world we know today wouldn’t exist without risk-taking. Neither will a prosperous future.

By

Zat Rana

1956 Chevrolet 3100 Half Ton Pickup Truck

1956 Chevrolet 3100 Half Ton Pickup

This is one truck that I know alot about,since I am restoring one of my own.This is not my truck,so I don’t know how original it really is,but from this picture I can tell you a little about this truck.1956 chevy pickup truck

Because the fender emblem says 3100 Chevrolet,and is mounted above the fender line means it is a 1956,half ton truck.The V8 on the fender would mean it had the optional 265ci V8.

if it has the real vin tag on the door sill it would start with V3A56******* (V8,3000 series,half ton,1956).

For a transmission it could have a 3 speed on the column (3 on the tree),4 speed 0n the floor,with a very low first gear (granny gear),or a 4 speed Hydramatic automatic transmission,but it does not have a Hydramatic  transmission,because if it did the fender script would say 3100 Hydramatic,instead of 3100 Chevrolet.

The body is a short bed 77 1/8″ with the standard small window,the Tires would be 15″,and the hub caps were used on 55-56 trucks only,if this was a numbers truck it could be worth allot to the right buyer.

Plastic Army Men

Plastic Army Men

Plastic Army Men

In 1938, the Bergen Toy and Novelty Co. began selling an inexpensive line of minuscule, monochrome plastic Plastic Army Men soldiers. The 2-in. American figures were produced in U.S. Army green and molded in a variety of action poses  a little boy’s war fantasy come true.

Sold in large plastic bags, demand for the little green men rose in the 1950s thanks to a boom in plastics manufacturing and a lead-poisoning scare that made the metal versions less appealing. Soon the company was manufacturing enemy forces too: German troops were molded in grey, Japanese forces in yellow.

Though the little warriors have undergone several changes over the years, their most famous identity is as World War II–era soldiers with “pod feet” attached to keep them standing during battle.

Rochester Quadrajet

Rochester Quadrajet
How It Began

The Quadrajet was released in 1965, and since then, saw a long and fruitful life installed on GM cars until EFI took over. The Quadrajet was actually the successor to the previously-built Rochester 4GC carburetor that was manufactured from 1952 to 1967. This new carburetor was blended with what Rochester knew about carburetors, mixed with ideas from other manufacturers, (spread-bore design and vacuum secondaries).

The Quadrajet became an instant success.
When part-throttle cruising, the small primaries (1 3/32-inch for 750 cfm, and 1 7/32-inch for 800 cfm carburetors) deliver a higher velocity into the intake than other carburetors. This results in better fuel atomization going into the intake. This, of course, is dependent upon whether the fuel metering, float level, idle-screw setting, throttle-blade angle, jets, power valve, air bleeds, and needle valves, etc., are all properly set.

While there are some GM street-car enthusiasts that swear by the Quadrajet, they are also disliked by almost as many. The stigma surrounding the Quadrajet has to do with the perceived lack of performance capabilities, and because rebuilding them is not quite as easy as, let’s say, a Holley. Many even call them Qaudrabog carburetors because of the “bog” that occurs when the secondaries open.

Since this actually occurs when the carburetor is not properly tuned, it is an ill-conceived, derogatory name. Either way, parts are easy to find, and a properly rebuilt Quadrajet will perform just as well as many aftermarket units when used in a proper application. In fact, even Chrysler used Quadrajet carburetors in the late ’80s, proving their popularity over the Carter Thermoquad with the engineers at Mopar.

Few people still fail to realize that the Quadrajet has a strong racing heritage within the Stock and Super Stock drag racing classes. In fact, there have been a multitude of record-holding Super Stock race cars that have run in the 9-second bracket with a Quadrajet on top of their manifolds.

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Rochester Quadrajet

MotorHeads Mechanical FB

Harley VIN Identification

Harley VIN Identification

How to Identify Harley VIN Numbers

When buying any used Harley-Davidson, checking the Harley VIN numbers against the title is mandatory. If they do not match exactly you should think about looking elsewhere.

Typographical errors on motorcycle registrations are sometimes very common, but don’t take any chances. In some cases a visit to your local department of motor vehicles may be enough to get a VIN typo corrected. However, when buying a Harley or other vehicle with an out of state title, the difficulty in correcting such errors increases dramatically. With strict state regulations increasing every year, you are better off avoiding any problem that may leave you holding a piece of property that cannot be documented. Not only is it illegal to drive, but you leave yourself open to unscrupulous people who could make a legal claim against you and your property.

If you have a Harley engine with matching title taken from a crashed or salvaged motorcycle, and put that engine into a new frame, the title is invalid. Anyone trying to sell you a post-1970 Harley where the title VIN only matches the engine, but does not match the number on the frame, PASS! Want to upgrade your bike to a new custom frame? You must apply for a new title. While it is nice to have an original Harley with matching engine and frame numbers, only the frame VIN is relevant when it comes to legal registration.

Never accept a Harley or other vehicles without a legal title. One such case involved an individual restoring a Harley originally purchased without proper papers. Some deadbeat and his lawyer came along and claimed the Harley was his. Without enough money to pay an attorney, and lacking any legal title or receipts, the poor guy was forced to give the bike to this shark in order to avoid a lawsuit. This may sound like extortion but it happens all the time. Don’t become another horror story. Take precautions when investigating the authenticity of the Harley VIN and registration.

There has always been much debate over bikes with matching numbers and their true value. In my opinion, any Harley being sold as “rare” or “limited” is usually anything but that. As with beauty, value and rarity are often in the eye of the beholder. If matching numbers makes a motorcycle more valuable to you, then only you can put a value on it. Just don’t expect the next person buying that Harley from you to think the same way.

Locating the Harley VIN

Prior to 1961 On Harley models prior to 1961, the engine number acts as the VIN. This number can be found on the left side engine case. Harley models produced prior to 1969 do not carry any frame number.
VIN Numbering Conventions:

First two numbers are the model year.
Letters (up to four) are the model designation.
The last numbers are the production run number.

1962 – 1969
VIN Numbering Conventions:

First two numbers are the model year.
Letters (2-4) are the model designation.
The last numbers are the production run number.

In addition, models with 4 digit production numbers have an even-numbered first digit for even years, odd for odd years. Models containing a 5 digit production number will have the first two digits even for even years, odd for odd years.

Why is this important? If the VIN does not follow this even or odd numbering sequence, you can almost guarantee that the VIN has been altered. It is extremely common to find mismatched engines in these early bikes with different VIN numbers than the title paperwork. 1970 – 1980:
Beginning in 1970, Harley started stamping VIN numbers on both the frame and engine case. The exception as noted by our friends at Cyborg Cycles, is the 1979 model . This exception is discussed below.

First two numbers are the model code.
Next 5 digits, position 3-7 is the production run number.
The last 2 digits designate the year.

The only legal VIN number for Harley’s produced after 1970 is on the frame. NO EXCEPTION! It doesn’t matter if the engine case number matches your registration papers, if the frame VIN doesn’t match the registration you have a problem! You might be able to fool a few cops or even someone at the DMV, but don’t count on it. In addition, it should go without saying that any alteration to the VIN is illegal. This goes for restamping frames or adding the original VIN to a replacement frame. If you replace the frame, you need to have a new VIN assigned to your Harley.

Always remember that on models built after 1970, the Harley VIN always follows the frame… not the engine!

The infamous 1979 Exception
During the 1979 model run, some Harley’s were produced with engine numbers that did not match the frame number. The production date is reported to be from 1/9/79 – 2/7/79, and the frame VIN’s affected are 43000H9 through 48199H9. These models had engines numbered with a separate “crankcase number” instead of the frame’s VIN. This engine number is reported to be a ten digit numeric ID. Rumor has it that Harley went back to the old numbering sequence once the legal ramifications were realized. Regardless of the engine case number, the title must always match the frame VIN. Thanks to Cyborg Cycles for this information.

1981 -2000:
Beginning in 1981, Harley started using a 17 digit VIN number on the frame and an abbreviated VIN on the engine case. As always, the legal title must match the VIN number on the frame. If the title and frame VIN reads 1HD1ELK12BZ123456 , the engine case number should read something like ELKB123456 . VIN number rules described under the 1970 – 1980 Harley models also apply here.

Oregon silverspot butterfly

Oregon silverspot butterfly

Oregon silverspot butterfly

Scientific name: Speyeria zerene hippolyta

Status: Threatened

Critical Habitat: Designated

Listing Activity: Oregon silverspot butterfly was listed as a threatened species with critical habitat in October 1980. A revised recovery plan was published in 2001.

Historical Status and Current Trends

The historical range of the Oregon silverspot butterfly subspecies extends from the Long Beach Peninsula, Pacific County, Washington, south to Del Norte County, California. All of these populations were restricted to the immediate coast, centered around salt-spray meadows, or within a few miles of the coastline in similar meadow-type habitat.

At the time of listing, the only viable population known was on the Siuslaw National Forest in Tillamook County, Oregon. Additional populations have since been discovered at Cascade Head, Bray Point, and Clatsop Plains in Oregon, on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington, and in Del Norte County in California.

Description and Life History

The Oregon silverspot butterfly is a medium-sized, orange and brown butterfly with black veins and spots on the dorsal (upper) wing surface, and a yellowish submarginal band and bright metallic silver spots on the ventral (under-side) wing surface. This subspecies is distinguished from other subspecies of silverspot butterflies by a somewhat smaller size and darker coloration at the base of the wings.

These are morphological adaptions for survival in a persistently windy and foggy environment. The forewing length averages about 27 millimeters (1 inch) for males and 29 millimeters (1.1 inch) for females. Hydaspe fritillary ( Speyeria hydaspe), a related species found in adjacent habitats can be distinguished by the cream, rather than silver, colored spots of the ventral wing surface.

The life history of the Oregon silverspot revolves around its obligatory host plant, the early blue violet (Viola adunca). Females oviposit up to 200+ eggs singly amongst the salt-spray meadow vegetation near the violet host plant, usually in late August and early September. Sites with good sun exposure are favored. The eggs hatch in approximately 16 days and the newly hatched larvae wander short distances to find a suitable site for diapause (suspended growth for overwintering).

The larvae end diapause sometime in early spring and begin to feed on the violet leaves. As the larvae grow, they pass through five molts (shed outer covering) before they enter the intermediate stage between larval and adult forms (pupate). Approximately two or more weeks later, the butterflies emerge from their pupal case (eclose). Adult emergence starts in July and extends into September. Shortly thereafter, their wings and other body parts harden and they escape the windy, cool meadows for nearby forests or brush lands.

Mating occurs through August and September. Those individuals (male and female) which are most efficient at basking and maintaining proper body temperature will be able to operate longer and deeper in the windy meadow zone, thus improving their opportunities for successful reproduction.

Habitat

The Oregon silverspot occupies three types of grassland habitat. One type consists of marine terrace and coastal headland salt-spray meadows (e.g., Cascade Head, Bray Point Rock Creek-Big Creek and portions of Del Norte sites). The second consists of stabilized dunes as found at the Long Beach Peninsula, Clatsop Plains, and the remainder of Del Norte. Both of these habitats are strongly influenced by proximity to the ocean, mild temperatures, high rainfall, and persistent fog. The third habitat type consists of montane grasslands found on Mount Hebo and Fairview Mountains. Conditions at these sites include colder temperatures, significant snow accumulations, less coastal fog, and no salt spray.

The most important feature of the habitat of the Oregon silverspot is the presence of the early blue violet. This plant is normally the only species on which the Oregon silverspot can successfully feed and develop as larva. However, in the laboratory the butterflies will accept other species of violets, and there is evidence that some individuals on Mount Hebo are using another species of violet.

This plant is part of the salt-spray meadow vegetation and is an obligatory component of the butterfly’s habitat. Other features of optimum habitat include moderate grass cover, including red fescue (Festuca rubra) used as a shelter for larvae, and a mixture of herbaceous plants such as California aster (Aster chilensis) used for nectaring by adults. Apparently the more inland meadow sites occupied by related subspecies of silverspots are not accessible to Oregon silverspots. The habitat is similar on Mount Hebo with Viola adunca as the key component. The distribution and composition of the flora may differ slightly, but the habitat functions similarly to the salt-spray meadow. The shallow soil apparently helps to keep this area in the meadow stage.

Although the salt-spray meadow is the nursery area for the butterfly and a key element of this species’ habitat, it is a rather harsh environment for the adults. Upon eclosion (metamorphosis of the pupa into the adult butterfly), the adults generally move out of the meadows into the fringe of conifers or brush where there is shelter for more efficient heat conservation and nectaring flights. The forest shelter may also be used for courtship and mating. Where such sheltered conditions exist, the adults will use various nectar sources, including native and exotic plants, particularly composites such as the native California aster, yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Indian thistle (Cirsium edule) and some exotics such as false dandelion (Hypochaeris radieata) and tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea).

Reasons for Decline

The major limiting factors affecting this species are related primarily to the limitation of suitable habitat. The highly specialized salt-spray meadow habitat within the geographical range for the Oregon silverspot was never common. This early seral community has always had a patchy distribution, occurring only where fire, salt-laden winds, or other natural or man-related occurrences (e.g., grazing, controlled burning) have maintained an open meadow. Evidence suggests that such habitat was more extensive in the past than it is today.

Historical accounts show the butterfly and its habitat as locally common within its range. However, good habitat has steadily been used for residential and business establishments, public parkland development, and parking areas or lawns. Excessive use of the salt-spray meadows by grazing animals or off-road vehicles has directly eliminated habitat. Secondary impacts of people’s activities, introduction of exotic plants, and fire suppression with subsequent succession of meadows to brush and stunted woodland have also contributed to a reduction in suitable habitat.

Habitat destruction is unquestionably the reason for the threatened status of this butterfly today. It should be noted, however, that as colony size is reduced by habitat loss, restricted genetic variability and/or catastrophic events can ultimately cause the extinction of these small populations.

Conservation Measures

The coastal prairie habitat on which the Oregon silverspot butterfly is dependent will quickly become scrub, brush, or forest land if left unmanaged.  Natural processes such as wildfires and wildlife grazing likely functioned to maintain open grasslands in the past.  Today the habitat must be actively managed to maintain a grassland structure.  Mowing, burning, and the planting of native plants are current habitat management strategies.

An Oregon silverspot butterfly captive-rearing program began in 1999 to raise caterpillars for release into declining population.  The Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon and the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington receive a small number of wild female Oregon silverspot butterflies each year.  Each of these females may lay hundreds of eggs which quickly hatch into tiny first instar caterpillars.

The zoos care for the caterpillars throughout their development, overwintering them in their diapause state in cool refregerators, and feeding them violets during the spring and summer until they become pupae.  The pupae are then released into the declining populations.  These population augmentations or reintroductions are a last resort to prevent further population extinctions.  Multiple years of releases are needed to successfully stabilize the declining populations but the augmentation appears to be a promising species recovery tool.

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